Tuesday, 20 March 2007

‘300’ ~ a review

Right then. Far be it for me to let a few fantastically stylish posters of buff blokes in leather smalls put me off of watching a flick. A film’s a film, and although I knew it’d be a chore to have to sit through essentially 119 minutes of death, glory, gorgeously rough blokes in leather and of course blood, I did it. For the princely sum of HK$50, I might add (GBP3.30, or US$6.30 ~ and on large comfortable seats that don’t flip up, but act like armchairs, thank you very much).

So here we are then. In me best (well, not too bad a one) tradition, I’ll try to sum it up in three words:

1. Impressive
2. Stirring
3. Inaccurate (bear with me, it’s not what you think)

So wiowt giving too much away (even though I’m probably the last bugger to have seen it), first things first:


Gerard Butler is impressive. Impressive in his loud, ‘EVERYONE HERE IS GOING TO DIE!’ roar. Impressive in his role as a leader of men, a killer of the opposition. Impressive in the way he manages to make you entertain the notion that you might just let out a tiny, shiny tear if his left eye winces any more. Equally impressive were his outfit. Ancient Greece truly were a place where the girlies wore little, and the men wore less. A place where big manly men really were big manly men, where tough-as-nails girlies really were tough-as-nails girlies, and big pointy sticks came in very handy when people blinged-up more’n even Mr T came calling fert spoils. I’d like to add that his beard should also get a mention fer standing up for its beardy beliefs, all the way through. Never once did it wilt under the stiff, chill-inspiring sound of the roar from the chin it were attached to. It deserves an Oscar. And fuck me, but if Maximus Decimus Meridius were a seething, brooding lump of anger on legs, then King Leonidas is his angrier, musclier older brother. Wi a sharp stick.

Also impressive, in a more obvious sense, were the stunning visual effects. We’ll start wi the easy ones; the pan-n-scans round the fake wilderness or vista, the backdrops, the hordes of soldiers, the lighting to the whole thing and the seamless use of CGI and people. Then we’ll move onto the money-shots: Leonidas gutting Persian soldiers in a mix of normal, slow to clarity, then speed up to get it over with shots. Bloody class. Blood and gore flying at will under, over and round Spartans, Arcadians and Persians alike. Heads leaping in the air, having been liberated from shoulders wi a slowed, pixel-perfect representation. Bloody marvellous. The entire film felt like a surreal kind of waking dream, the lighting and colour of the film just sucking you into this place that absorbs everyone else’s colour and then hides it. Magic.


Right then. Yeah, I’m a complete girl and I did actually cry at the end of ‘Gladiator. But that’s where I drew the line. I’m not a serial crier. I’m actually quite bad at it. But a few tweaks of King Leonidas horrible realisations and I’m struggling not to make a noise. Stirred, definitely.
And then the wife, the Queen, the Force-With-Which-To-Be-Reckoned. Don’t think just cos she’s a woman, she’ll go easy on you. Oooh, no. She had one of the most powerful scenes and I was grabbing at the armrests, the inside o me head screaming for her to do it. Pretty stirred, definitely.
‘God-King’ Xerxes, demanding every Greek kneel to him, on the beach where probably a thousand or so of his men have already been decapitated, sliced, diced or otherwise rendered dead. And King Leonidas’ face, immobile, yet telling him to fuck off and die. Oooh, shaken and stirred. Thrilled. Cheering fert Spartans. Loathing the Persians. Oooh yes, I took sides, as I was supposed to.

Interestingly enough, this comes at an odd time to be showing how leaders of men and countries put their lives and families ont line for their ‘people’, willing, nay, expecting to perform the ultimate sacrifice for the Greater Good, and rules and advisors be damned. Is this a hint? As to how ‘real’ men, idealists, should stay either in or out of politics, depending on your viewpoint?


Yeah, yeah, yeah. You can bang on about how the graphic novel were based on the real battle. You can bang on about historical or factual inaccuracies. You can guess what I’m going to say next: so what? It dunt detract from the sheer enjoyment and entertainment to be derived from this film. People say ‘Titanic’ also has several trillian inaccuracies (hated it anyway; so what?). Again with ‘Pearl Harbour’ (hated it; so what?), ‘Enemy at the Gates’, ‘Muppets From Space’ (and I love that flick) … see where I’m going wi this? I do not demand a film to be accurate. If it were, it’d be a stylised documentary. I just want entertainment ~ and that’s what I got, in shedloads, from ‘300’.

I’d give it a spanking. Oh sorry, a spanking 8 out of 10. Fert thrills, chills, excitements, and even a few moments of levity. And of course, who can resist 300 sweaty, leathered men standing poised ready to kill, spitting and snarling, itching to kill the first bugger as moves? Have to say, one o the bits that had me grinning in vicarious, delicious thrill of the impending fight, were the “Spartans, throw down yer weapons!” from the Persians. And of course, the Spartan response? “Come and get em!”

Movie magic, in many senses of the phrase. Loved it. Girlie porn fert masses. At last!

Peach and lube, people.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~


Stella Bella said...

We thought you'd like it :)

Soupdragon said...

'Ey, nah then, what's that sposed to mean?


Right up my street, I'd have to agree wi you there...



weenie said...

I so wanna go and watch this with me best mate so we can have a good girlie gawp but sadly, the bf says he'll come and watch it with me.

It just won't be the same!

Inaccuracies? Hell, all historical movies are inaccurate! :)

Soupdragon said...

And that's half the fun, int it?



Stella Bella said...


Girlie porn huh... lol

granny w said...

I'm a bit concerned now. I'm going to see it with Monkey boy. You know I'll get a lecture on the lack of historical accurancy, etc, etc. Never mind that nonsense.... manly men getting their kit off for the girls! xxx

Soupdragon said...

But after having checked a few facts, it appears a lot of the dialogue was taken from Herodotus' texts....
So either the old bloke were lying, or they just interpreted it wrong...
Or just not Col's interpretation, LOL


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